7 tech inventions we can’t believe people actually lived without

From GPS to microwaves to vacuums, we sure are glad someone had the ingenuity (and time) to think up these handy items.

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Instant messaging

In 1996, four Israeli entrepreneurs launched a startup called Mirabilis. They invented ICQ instant messaging for desktop computers, and at its peak had amassed 100 million users. In 1998, it was sold to AOL. That development is widely considered the beginning of instant messaging, and though it’s undergone several changes since its inception, much of what we do online comes from this indispensable technology.

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